The theme of today’s blog entry is a happy accident. I had planned to share a really interesting and delicious recipe I picked up this weekend at the Art of Chocolate festival in Alleghany County, but then a friend also forwarded me a fascinating recipe for chocolate candy made in the Crock Pot.
The two just seem to fall into the same category – delightfully bizarre!
I attended and judged the 7th Annual Art of Chocolate festival, which was held at my alma mater, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge. I was on the team that judged cupcakes, cookies and “gourmet” items. Hard job, y’all. Since I didn’t judge overall and had to scoot before they announced the winners, I’m still seeking the names of the winners and their recipes. Will report back with those very soon. UPDATE: I got the list of winners. See below.
While there, I saw Chef Jeff Bland of US Foodservice, who was doing a cooking demonstration at the festival. Jeff was pretty excited about a recipe he’d invented just the night before called Steak with Adobo and Chocolate. I got a chance to sample the finished product and it was heavenly. The fact that it was one of the three best things I tasted at the festival just goes to show that I prefer savory treats to chocolate. Jeff used skirt steak in his demo, and it turned out beautifully tender. But you can use your favorite cut of steak for this recipe. I’ll also share the other recipes he demonstrated for chocolate coating and super-easy chocolate mousse.
Finally, that Crock Pot recipe. My friend sent me the link to this stuff, technically called Mr. Bud Candy. I have not had a chance to try it (I was chocolated out this weekend), but it looks intriguing. Candy can be really frustrating to make, especially for beginners, so I like the idea of letting it bubble away in the Crock Pot and then just stir and drop on wax paper. My only concern about this is the variations in slow cookers. We’ve talked before about how some, particularly new models, seem to cook faster than others. There are some notes at the end of the recipe about that. I wish they would have included a candy temperature in the recipe so cooks could test it with a candy thermometer. Would you be brave enough to try it?
What delicious foods did you cook and/or eat this weekend?
Chocolate Festival Winners:
1. Afton Nicely—Chocolate and Cream
2. Scotty Taylor—Red Velvet Cake Balls
Wendy Biggs—Scratch Chocolate Cake
Zundra Mullikin—Frangelica Chocolate Fudge Cake
1. Ann Drewry—-Ann’s Kentucky Pie
1. Nancy Kilian—Euphoria
2. Denny Nelson—Chocolate, Carmel, Pecan Pie Bars
Phyllis Hendricks—Mississippi Mud Cookies
1. Mary Backels—Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
1. Scotty Taylor—Candy Cane Fudge
2. Ann Kreft—Chocolate Pretzel Buttons
Scotty Taylor—Cinnamon Roll Fudge
1. Tawnya West—It’s all Truffles and Lace
2. Debby Faulkenbury—Mississippi Mud
1. Scotty Taylor—Chocolate Bundles/Ganache
2. Ann Kreft—-Chocolate Mint Truffles
Ann Kreft–Chocolate Truffles
1. Margaret Donnan—-Million Dollar Fudge
BEST IN FESTIVAL—Scotty Taylor—-Cinnamon Roll
People’s Choice—–Denny Nelson—Chocolate, Carmel, Pecan Pie Bars
Steak with Adobo and Chocolate
1 pound of your favorite cut of steak cut into portions
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso or coffee grounds.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together and rub into the steak.
Grill or sauté into your desired temperature is reached and hold until ready to serve.
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce
Adobo with chipotle to taste (start with a teaspoon or less and add more if desired)
1 or less, ounce dark chocolate, chopped
Chopped cilantro to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
In a pan, combine the cream, bbq sauce, and adobo; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until desired thickness is reached. Check flavor and make adjustments as needed. Should only take a few minutes. Turn off heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Just before serving, add the cilantro, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Slice steak and serve over top of the steak.
Note: Adobo sauce with Chipotle can be very spicy. Be careful and start light; add more if you wish.
1 pound dark chocolate
1 pound vegetable shortening
Melt chocolate and shortening together and hold warm until needed. Makes a great glaze/coating for cake and pastries. You can sub butter for shortening if you like.
Just pour over pastry/cake using a pan and wire rack to catch run-off. Reuse extra by re-melting. Store in a covered container in refrigerator until ready to use again.
Super Easy Chocolate Mousse
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4 ounces chocolate sauce
In a stand mixer, start mixing the cream until stiff peaks begin to form. Fold in chocolate sauce. Pipe or spoon into a glass and top off with a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce, or your favorite liquor.
Recipes courtesy of Jeff Bland, US Foodservice